I Love The Roundabouts

John Derby

We were in England and the trains went on strike.

It was bad enough to have to drive on the wrong side of the street; however, when we asked for instructions the man said: “Just go over the Flyover, and round the Roundabout, you’ll find where you are going.”

It was the first time we had ever driven a Roundabout and it was 1980. We had seen them throughout Europe, and they seemed like an interesting way to handle traffic without traffic lights.

Fast forward to Merced, where two Roundabouts are part of the new Campus Parkway north-south route through town. We first drove round them apprehensively, but after getting used to them, we found them very safe and handling traffic well with barely slowing it down.

This is the same traffic which would have been stopped up by a light signal at another intersection, spewing exhaust fumes into the valley air.

Why has Merced and in fact, California, moved so slowly into the use of Roundabouts?

Merced has terrible traffic, and it gets worst with every passing day. Take a look at Bear Creek and G Street, if you want to see a mess.

The Bear Creek Galleria shopping center was given to the city for a park. The city did not follow the instructions of the man who willed it. There would have been plenty of room for a Roundabout. It didn’t happen.

The intersection of G and Olive is probably the second worst in the city. Lord forbid, the city should use some of the high school property to make a Roundabout.

Then there is the most recent construction of the shopping center at Yosemite and G Street. Could the city have designed something better? Now it has become another engineering mess which we are going to have to live with for years to come.

Why is it we are spending so much money to attain High Speed Rail when we avoid improving something which creates traffic jams?

Let’s build more Roundabouts.

They are the way of the future.

Insights and OpinionsJohn Derby
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